Qatari Foreign Minister Mohammed bin Abdul Rahman al-Thani said that the Assad regime’s escalating onslaught on Idlib province risked undermining all chances of political solution in Syria, while France expressed its deep concern about the military escalation against Syrian cities and towns.
“Scenes of bombardment in Idlib are repeated under the same pretexts. Continued attacks in Idlib are intended to undermine a political solution to the Syria crisis and kill civilians and the regime’s opponents on the pretext of fighting terrorist groups,” al-Thani said in comments he posted on Twitter on Wednesday.
On Tuesday, the Turkish foreign ministry summoned the Russia and Iranian ambassadors to protest against the offensive being waged by the Assad regime and its allies in Idlib and urged them to put pressure the Assad regime to stop the offensive.
However, the offensive has further intensified to include villages in northern Hama bordering Idlib province. Dozens of airstrikes hit the area, while regime forces took control of new villages in eastern rural Hama and southeastern rural Idlib.
France said on Wednesday it was “extremely concerned” by the Assad regime’s offensive in the rebel-held province of Idlib and demanded that commitments made at an international deal in Astana to reduce hostilities be respected.
“France condemns the intense bombardments carried out by the Bashar al-Assad regime’s air force and its allies in the Idlib region in recent days, particularly those targeting the civilian population and several hospitals,” France’s foreign ministry said in a statement.
It added that deliberately targeting health centers constituted a violation of international law.
“We ask that the commitments made in Astana be respected, so that the violence stops as soon as possible. Safe, comprehensive and unimpeded humanitarian access to all people in need must be ensured immediately,” the ministry added.
It also said it was “outraged” by the ongoing siege in Eastern Ghouta, another rebel-held area, where the UN human rights chief said on Wednesday that at least 85 civilians have been killed since Dec. 31. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)